Local SEO and Small Business Markerting

You may find it hard to believe butt I encourage some businesses to advertise in the Yellow Pages or newspapers. Maybe our style of advertisement is a little unconventional but yellow can still help your sales. Television and radio can also be a good fit for the right practice. Using magazine advertising can be profitable if it’s done correctly. As you explore mediums for marketing your small business you have to consider every possible option. Though you may find us a little biased towards Search Engine Optimization and Paid Per Click this is only because the return on investment is always higher no matter the business.

Online marketing is by far the most effective form of advertising that you could possibly do for your business. Yes, I am biased since I am a long time internet marketer. Setting those biases aside, it is still pretty easy to see why internet marketing is the best option for most small businesses.

Marketing is the Engine that Drives Your Business

Smart Entrepreneurs will start writing their business plan with way they intend to market it first. Once the marketing plan is written they will lay out there budget. The first lines of that budget will be directly related to the marketing. I’m going out on a limb here but I bet you are not the only service of your kind in the town you service. It is no secret that other businesses that offer the same products and services you do have gone out of business. Experience tells me that most if not all of those failed businesses are dead because they ignored the most important part of their business, the marketing.

This may be a tough sell but “you do not need to be the best at what you do to make the most money doing it.” Heard statement to swallow to some prideful business owners I know. Case in point. I once knew a residential real estate broker that was in the top 1% of agencies nationwide. By his own admission he was not the best, smartest or even the most educated. What he was good at if anything was marketing. He had no fear of spending money on advertising. He would spend more on marketing in a single week than most agents made in a year. While he was raking in the dough each month other (dare I say smarter/better) agencies were going out of business.

Real-time adjustment to your message

If you ever decide to run a print ad in your local Yellow Pages or newspaper, you might labor over the content and design for weeks before deciding to release the ad. Then you cross your fingers hoping that you have written and designed and ad that will generate new leads and sales for your business. The trouble is, once the ad is out there, there is no changing it. If it’s a yellow page ad you could be stuck with a non-producing advertisement that is costing you 1500 to $2,000 a month and not producing a single new lead for the next 6 months. But that is just not the case when it comes to Internet advertising. You can create several versions of the same ad and run them simultaneously. Once you know which one is going to produce the best results you double your budget and put everything into that marketing piece. This is known as split testing. Split testing gives you exact measurable and actionable information about the way your web page is performing in real time.

Television and Radio… Do they still work?

Television and radio offer an opportunity to reach a broad audience. But if you’ve been hanging around the marketing circles that I have for the past two decades you will find most top shelf marketers are just not a fan. Sure, there are businesses where TV and radio will perform better but rarely is this the case when it comes to small service-based companies. Most marketers would agree that using some type of a targeted advertisement makes more sense. Even snail mail advertising seems more appealing than television and radio. Here is why. Your ad on TV and radio will be heard by maybe a million people. Only a fraction of a percentage of those people are actually interested in the service or product you offer. Dollar for dollar using a medium that is directed specifically to your customer is a better option. Certainly there is no better option for directly getting in front of your prospect then search engines. Search engine marketing which includes SEO and PPC can do just that. Your ad will only appear in front of someone actually interested in the exact product or service you offer.

Newspaper and Magazine Advertising, More cost than value

News and publicity is a cornerstone a growing practice. Any small business that wants to be big one day will leverage any publicity that they can. Newspaper publicity is not the same as a newspaper ad. Once again there is a place for newspaper advertising in some businesses. In my experience most of it is relatively expensive compared to the volume of leads and sales you will get from it. If I had only $500 to put into my marketing budget each month starting out a new practice there is no better place to put it then search engine optimization or paid per click advertising. You could run a newspaper ad from now until the end of time and not get near the return on investment that you can get from being found through Google Bing or Yahoo.

Crafting the right message for your prospects

No matter the advertising medium that you choose Be it search  engine marketing or otherwise you must craft a message that will compel your prospect to contact you. Internet marketing offers a unique and cost effective mechanism for testing your message in the market. You can literally change the message multiple times each hour until the prospects begin to call you. You can track with laser focus what app is making your phone ring. You can know who is clicking on your ad and what they are reading that makes them dial that phone. If you were going to run a yellow page, newspaper, magazine or television ad you could test it on the internet first to make sure it performs as you desire and expand it into other mediums.

Test, Test and Test Again

Rarely have I seen an ad perform at its optimal best right out of the gate. Most of the time multiple revisions will lead to increased conversion and more dollars to the bottom line. If you were to run a new ad each week in a newspaper it would take you a year to create 50 versions and test them. The combination of search engine marketing and a message on your website could be changed hourly and improve the results in real time. Change a headline an image or a single word and know if your efforts improved the results. Literally, by this time tomorrow you could have a high-performing advertising campaign that produces the highest return-on-investment any small business could ask for in their marketing and advertising budget.

If you can craft a message that works on the internet, that same message might work very well in other mediums. If you are hard set on doing TV, Yellow pages or any other medium test your message out on your website first.

Make Marketing your Small Business Easy

Marketing your small business online does not need to be the maze you have been told. It can be a simple and actionable plan that you and our agency put into place to create a constant and consistent flow of leads and sales to your practice. We want to help. Though we cannot help everybody because every business is not a good fit for our agency we are happy to offer a consultation to any business that needs it. Contact us today and get on the road to the next generation of your practice.

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